Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, on Wednesday informed that over 2 lakh trees have been cut illegally in the state in the last four years and over 48,000 complaints have been filed in this regard in different parts of the state.
Uddhav Thackeray was replying to a starred question raised by Shiv Sena MLA Manisha Kayande in the state legislative council.
In his written reply, Thackeray said, 2,84,171 trees were felled illegally in the last four years. Its value has been estimated at ₹21.95 crore. At least 48,893 criminal cases have been registered during this period, of which 1,435 are registered as serious offences. The chief minister said the remaining cases were classified as mild offences and many were resolved after talks between the officials and the accused persons. Over a period of four years, 991 vehicles were allegedly used for illegal felling and transportation of trees.
Uddhav Thackeray holds the charge of the forest department after his cabinet colleague Sanjay Rathod resigned from the post in March 2021.
In a written reply to Kayande’s another starred question, Thackeray, citing the recent published India State Forest Report 2021, said, the Mumbai suburban district has lost 1.08 sq km of mangrove area between 2019 and 2021. Plantation has been done in this lost area. The area is 1,911.33 hectares, he said. The Chief Minister added that 8,000 illegal constructions have also been demolished by the State Mangrove Cell.